FOOD, SPICE, & EVERYTHING NICE
Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2010!!!! This year, the blog is taking on a new name: Food, Spice, & Everything Nice. Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter which will update you on the newest blog posting. Seeing that everyone will be writing a new years article on weight loss and how to get thin, healthy, and happy in the new year, I decided to write the new years blog on "Flavor Trends of 2010." A market research company, Mintel, has predicted that this new year will be a combination of the old and new. As people cut back on expenses and focus on home cooking, this year's flavor trends are expected to reflect more home cooking and combine the old with the new. Home-baked traditional foods will be combined with new flavors. Globalization is expected to bring ethnic spices to the tables of Americans. Comfort foods combined with the following six flavors are expected to be seen in a variety of products and on many menus.
Cardamom - An herb in the ginger family found in southern India commonly used in Indian cooking. It has also been used medicinally. It is said to have a strong, unique taste and a coolness similar to mint. It has already been used to flavor a Cosmic chocolate bar.
Sweet Potato - A familiar food to most of us, however, this year we may be begin to see these potatoes as a trendy health food full of vitamins especially vitamin B6, C, and beta carotene.
Hibiscus - A flavor that commonly is found in tea is now starting to branch out. Hint has started a line of water with a hint of hibiscus flavor. It is likely to be added to a variety of beverages in 2010.
Cupuaçu - Expected to be the next fad super fruit. This coconut looking fruit common in Brazil is related to cocoa. It is said to have a sweet, creamy taste similar to cocoa. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like all fruit, however, it also contains essential fatty acids and protein. Musselmans launched a lime and cupuaçu-flavored apple sauce with this unique flavor.
Rose Water - Formerly just a fragrance, this year rose water will likely begin to infuse our desserts and add a unique flavor to a variety of dishes.
Latin Spices - While we cook at home and stick to our favorites, watch out for the added spices. Although "Latin cuisine" is hardly one taste, spices used throughout all of Latin America will begin to create their own American flavors. Cilantro, garlic, chile, cumin, and epazote may be some of the expected spices to watch out for!
It should be an interesting year both in the grocery store, at restaurants, and at parties! Prepare yourself to try something new. Happy New Year!
Being in the holiday spirit, I thought it would be a good time to introduce an organization that I worked with this past year called Opportunity Foundation India (http://opportunityindia.org). My husband and I lived in Hyderabad, India for about six months this year volunteering with Opportunity Foundation India's four elementary schools and babycare center. As you cherish all the blessings that you have this holiday season, remember that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Check out their website and learn more about these precious children on the other side of the world. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The credentialing process with a large variety of insurance companies is now complete! I am able to provide services as a wellness benefit to many insurance plans. This is an exciting step for Abrea, and it will allow many more people access to better their health!
As the snow gracefully falls today, I am craving a warm, sweet drink, a big blanket, and a warm fire. Snow is so beautiful when you don't have to drive or walk to work in it. I love to watch it out the window from my warm apartment.
Now for that warm, sweet drink, I will go for apple cinnamon tea. Recently, I have been reading fabulous scientific peer reviewed research on cinnamon. Did you know that it increases the antioxidants in your blood? It does this by stimulating NrF2 (for those medical professionals who care). Cinnamon itself is not an antioxidant however it increases the pathways that release antioxidants into the blood. Now, most of you know antioxidants are a good thing and that they help to prevent the development of cancer and other cell damage. This is good news for me because what is not to like about cinnamon.
This is no reason to go buy mass quantities of cinnamon and start eating it as your main dish, but maybe you can begin to add a little to your hot chocolate this Christmas! Or maybe you want to join me with a hot glass of cinnamon tea. A little bit every so often for many years seems to have some protective effects against cancer. Try to add a little spice to this Christmas!
Leave it to the Japanese! This unusual flavor is sold in Japan. It is called Black Garlic Chocolate. It is fermented black garlic covered in chocolate sprinkled with cocoa.
This product was released in Japan just in time for Valentines day last year. Takko Shoji, a Japanese company, produces this product. Three chocolates as displayed in this picture can be purchased for only 600 Yen (~$6.50). Now, I cannot read the website so I don't know if I can order them for delivery here in the US, but I am sending an email to my Japanese friend who actually lives in Australia to help me answer this question. Now some of you may be thinking, why garlic on Valentines day? That does not seem very romantic. Don't worry the Takko Shoji spokesperson had something to say about that, "If both people eat them, there'll be no problem."
I have no nutritional information about this product.
This is not a blog about celebrities, I am referring to trendy foods. These foods are consumed with pride among the “health fanatics” of the world. Topping yogurt with granola or paying extra for the 100% fruit juice may be a proud gesture of the health food junkies, but may not be the best move for their health.
For starters, granola has around 500 kcals per cup. That equals about one McDonalds Big Mac! I bet you never thought of it like that before. Now, maybe you top off your yogurt with a ¼ of a cup of granola, great (about 140 kcals added to the yogurt). One half cup of Bear Naked granola is almost identical in nutrients to 1 snickers bar. What has given granola such good reputation? I am not quite sure. It isn’t loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is high in fat and carbohydrates. It does have some fiber (so does the snickers), but in my opinion some fresh fruit would do the trick without the extra calories. I don’t want to ruin granola for you. You can eat it in moderation. Low fat versions exist and occasionally it can be a nice treat.
Another fake healthy food is 100% all natural, organic fruit juice. I love the words “all natural” and “organic.” When placed in front of anything it looks good! Juice is concentrated calories with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Yes, those vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are exceptionally important in your overall health, but come on people, eat the fruit!! One 8oz glass of O.J. contains juice from approximately 3 oranges. The fiber that comes from the whole fruit is left behind when made into juice. Most of you need 2-3 pieces of fruit per day. Most of you also struggle to get 25-35 grams of fiber per day (I know not all of you ;)). Why eliminate the most delicious way to get fiber by drinking your fruit? Also, who really stops with 1 cup of juice and feels full like they just ate 3 pieces of fruit? Juice in my mind is glorified soda pop!
Lastly, just like the juice, fruit smoothies although full of fantastic vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, smoothies typically contain 4-8 pieces of fruit minus the fiber. It is more than most people need and negates the fiber benefit from fabulous fruits! Okay, a smoothie can be a nice treat sometimes just like birthday cake, but don’t over indulge just because it has such a fabulous reputation thanks to great marketing.
Next time you see that health food junkie proudly carrying their granola topped yogurt, 100% fruit juice, and all natural smoothie, smile to yourself and be thankful you eat for your health not your image!
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.